Abbas El Gamal

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Professor Abbas El Gamal is a renowned electrical engineer and computer scientist at Stanford University. He is best known for his contributions to the field of digital communications and information theory, and for his pioneering research on the application of these fields to wireless communication systems.

Abbas El Gamal received his B.Sc. Honors degree in Electrical Engineering from Cairo University in 1972, and his M.S. in Statistics and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 1977 and 1978, respectively. From 1978 to 1980, he was an Assistant Professor at USC. He has been on the Stanford faculty since 1981, where he is currently the Hitachi America Professor in the School of Engineering and Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering. From 1997 to 2002, he served as the principal investigator on the Stanford Programmable Digital Camera program. From 2003 to 2012, he was Director of the Information Systems Laboratory. From 2012 to 2017, he was Chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. He was a visiting professor and MacKay Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley in Fall 2009-2010, and visited Tsinghua University as member of the Tsinghua Guest Chair Professor Group on Communications and Networking in Spring 2009-2010.

Professor El Gamal’s research contributions have spanned several areas, including network information theory, Field Programmable Gate Array, and digital imaging devices and systems. He has authored or coauthored over 230 papers and holds over 30 patents in these areas. He has coauthored the book Network Information Theory (Cambridge Press 2011). Prof. El Gamal is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the IEEE. He has received several honors and awards for his research contributions, including the 2016 IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal, the 2014 Viterbi Lecture, the 2013 Shannon Memorial Lecture, the 2012 Claude E. Shannon Award, the inaugural Padovani Lecture, and the 2004 INFOCOM Paper Award.

In addition to his research, Professor El Gamal has also made significant contributions to the field of education. He has supervised over 60 Ph.D. students and postdoctoral scholars, and has been recognized for his excellence in teaching, receiving the School of Engineering’s Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1984 and the William A. Martin Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1994.

Professor El Gamal has also played key roles in several Silicon Valley companies. In 1984, he founded the LSI Logic Research Lab, which later became the Consumer Product Division. In 1986, he cofounded Actel, where he served in several capacities, including Chief Scientist. In 1990, he co-founded Silicon Architects, where he was Chief Technical Officer and member of the board of directors until Synopsys acquired it in 1995. He was a Vice President of Synopsys from 1995 to 1997. He co-founded Pixim in 1999 (now part of Sony) and Inscopix in 2011 to commercialize imaging technologies developed under the programmable digital camera program. He has also served on the board of directors and advisory boards of several other semiconductor, EDA, and Biotech startups.